The Preppy Palm has come a long way from the small cottage shop on the mainland where we sold, headbands, belts, watchbands and handbags I made myself. Yes, these were largely pink and green – primary colors in the “preppy” palette as popularized in the 1980s. You remember Fair Isle sweaters, penny loafers, monogrammed everything.
The Preppy Palm hoped to make preppy trendy again when I started my in-home production line about 16 years ago, using a lot of grosgrain ribbon.
I was a stay-at-home mom [of five] and I started making things in a spare bedroom. I felt funny in the beginning putting a value on it and selling it to friends, but when I started getting a demand for it, I opened my first shop in the Woodland Village, in Clermont NJ, across from Cape May Wicker.
In 2007, The Preppy Palm outgrew the cottage and with encouragement from my husband, Chris, we moved to a storefront in the heart of Dune Drive’s shopping district. In 2 short months Chris was able to build out the empty store and have it open for Memorial Day weekend. We expanded our offerings to clothing, accessories and gifts that reflect the preppy philosophy.
Two years after we moved to the island shopping district, we out grew the 1000sq. ft store in the middle of the block on 25th street. We explored the corner unit we now occupy. This unit was 2000sq. ft and was completely unfinished, not to mention, in the middle of the banking and housing crisis. Do we expand? Take such a chance? Needless to say it did work out for us and 2 years later we bought the empty store next door and broke through and expanded the store even more.
We really have something for everyone!